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Alaska in March?

Thomas Vanagt , Sep 01, 2005; 06:06 a.m.

Hello,

My girlfriend has to be in Anchorage next March. I was thinking of joining here there and travel for 2 weeks.

But it seems like everything in Alaska is shut down in March. Is there any point in trying to get around? Is there anything to see? I guess the bears are still sleeping...

Thanks Thomas

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Jeff Medkeff , Sep 01, 2005; 10:20 a.m.

You probably won't see many bears. I'm not sure what you mean by "everything" in Alaska being shut down in March; in Anchorage, March is the end of wintertime, and there are a lot of winter sports events going on, plenty of ski trails are open, you have a chance at the aurora even though it will be getting light, and you can indeed drive around and visit various cities all year round. There are some great late-winter hikes in the area. Things like fishing, wildlife cruises, and the usual tourist fare are, of course, mostly not available.

Dave Rodenbaugh , Sep 01, 2005; 12:09 p.m.

Having lived in Alaska for a year, I can say that March is an excellent time to be out...

IIRC, the Iditarod starts in early March and there's a ton of activity associated with it around Anchorage (ice carving contests, which are quite interesting to photograph, especially at night). The aurora is usually in peak form that time, although it's helpful to be on a calling list to know when it's happening. Stop by the Todd Salat gallery (look it up in the phone book, or stop by his website http://www.salatshots.com) and ask to be on the phone list. I did when I was there and didn't regret the 2am calls (they happen pretty infrequently).

Wildlife will be scarce for sure...There's always Portage Glacier and the Chugach mountains to enjoy. Drive to Seward or Homer (a few hours) and experience some coastal life...

Enjoy,

-D

Coyote Images

Ron Niebrugge , Sep 01, 2005; 12:21 p.m.

March is one of my favorite times of year in Alaska. Lots of snow and sun, and not too cold. It can be a good time for winter landscapes, and it is a great time for eagles in Homer.

Jim Strutz - Anchorage, AK , Sep 01, 2005; 12:35 p.m.

Anchorage Fur Rendezvous is scheduled for Feb 17 through Mar 5 of 2006. There's always a few interesting events to shoot, along with the sled dog races.

March is my favorite time of the winter. (Being nearly over helps too.) We often get a lot of our annual snowfall in March. The weather is warming up, but there's still plenty of snow on the ground, and we're finally getting some daylight back. Skiing's good, rivers are still frozen & access to the back country is at it's peak. All you need is access to a snowmobile.

But my favorite Alakan adventures all involve moving water & plastic boats, but those won't be avaialble until May. So it depends on what you want to do/shoot.

Mark Chappell , Sep 01, 2005; 12:55 p.m.

I agree with Ron, having visited friends in Anchorage last March. It was beautiful, not too cold (at least near Anchorage and the Kenai), and there were wonderful landscapes and birds to shoot in Homer (and not just the flock of fish-fed eagles).

Thomas Vanagt , Sep 02, 2005; 02:35 a.m.

Thanks for all the answers!

Can you drive to Homer with a rental car, or do you need a 4WD?

Is the road from Anchorage to Fairbanks open in March?

I like the suggestion about the snowmobile, but I guess it is extremely expensive to rent one?

tom walker , Sep 02, 2005; 12:26 p.m.

From your last post, I suggest you do some reading and move beyond your basic misconceptions. (Would you ask these same questions if you were going to Minnesota, where the weather can also be bad?)The place runs years around, winter is an active time, March is usually great werather in Interior, warmer and cloudier on the coast. Multiple activities and events welcome spring. You are NOT stepping back in time coming here. Try a good guide book, like Alaska for Dummies.

TW

tom walker , Sep 02, 2005; 12:30 p.m.

Response to Alaska March

From your last post, I suggest you do some reading and move beyond your basic misconceptions. (Would you ask these same questions if you were going to Minnesota, where the weather can also be bad?)The place runs years around, winter is an active time, March is usually great werather in Interior, warmer and cloudier on the coast. Multiple activities and events welcome spring. You are NOT stepping back in time coming here. Try a good guide book, like Alaska for Dummies.

TW

Thomas Vanagt , Sep 03, 2005; 04:17 a.m.

Tom, I wouldn't ask these questions if it wouldn't be for the warnings in the Rough Guide, as far as I know the most reliable travel guide for destinations worldwide. They only talk about May-September, it really seems like no tourist is coming to Alaska in Winter/Spring. According to the Rough Guide roads are closed in winter, hotels and travel agencies are closed, etc.

Before paying a lot of money (flying from Europe to Alaska is bloody expensive) I thought it'd be wise to ask here first. Sorry I did.


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